Travel Plan Released

Posted: Fri, 12/08/2006 - 10:57

Though I am only one voice, I think the decision is very beneficial to ice climbers in hyalite. http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/gallatin/?page=/projects/travel_planning Thanks should be made to everyone who pitched in to keep our access. Cheers, Et

Travel Plan Released

  • Fri, 12/08/2006 - 11:29

Outstanding! So they'll be plowing the road basically to the resevoir...hopefully USFS won't gate it there.

Travel Plan Released

  • erin
  • 11/05/04
  • Fri, 12/08/2006 - 11:52

It's my understanding that vehicles will be off limits, but they are going to allow us to snowmobile in. That is much better than having to ski in (as in option....whatever).

Travel plan

  • Fri, 12/08/2006 - 12:38

It appears this is a significant downgrade to access.

That road between Blackmore and Grotto Falls trailhead is currently dominated by Ice climber vehicles when it's not snowed in. This plan will only allow skiers and snomobilers, NOT vehicles.

Those without a snowmobile will be skiing or hiking an extra 2+ miles each way. How many of us have a snomobile? 5 percent? There is also a snowmobile trail from Moser creek to Grotto falls TH supposedly for Ice climber fumer access. Who wants to 'fume so far? only the very committed.

Erik

Travel Plan Released

  • erin
  • 11/05/04
  • Fri, 12/08/2006 - 13:59

Erik ~

Remember, the USFS has the right to close the entire road.

Travel Plan Released

  • Fri, 12/08/2006 - 15:17

the decision contains the statement "after the road has been closed to vehicles". (or something close to that). is the closure to cars/trucks past the blackmore lot dependent on conditions, or does it happen at a set point in the year (like the other gates in the area)?

it could be that most climbers would be unaffected by the road closure, since snowmobiles are currently needed anyway after about mid-january.

does anyone understand the new policy better than i?

Travel Plan Released

  • Ty
  • 01/15/06
  • Fri, 12/08/2006 - 16:14

When does this take effect? I would agree and say that this is a downgrade in access. I would say this due to the fact that those of us who own cars who can make it in during the early snowy months will be cut off from that opportunity. I am grateful that they will be plowing the road...however it will mean many more yahoo's up there drinking in that parking lot than before.

Travel Plan Released

  • erin
  • 11/05/04
  • Fri, 12/08/2006 - 17:02

Perhaps I am missing something. With the road plowed to the reservoir the ice is accesible all winter - without a snowmobile. Last year for example, without a snowmobile, the season pretty much ended in December. How is that a downgrade?

This will not take effect until spring of 2007

Travel Plan Released

  • Fri, 12/08/2006 - 17:04

Hello all, Chris here from Barrel...

A group of climbers have scheduled a meeting with the Forest Service for early next week. The purpose of the meeting is to clearly understand the prescibed winter access and usage in Hyalite Canyon. We will also be discussing options regarding "the gate" as it regards to the ice climbing season and vehicle access. The Forest Service has expressed interest in coordinating with the climbing community in regards to the implementation of Hyalite's winter use plan.

The group of climbers meeting with the Forest Service include: Greg Caracciolo (Northern Lights), Doug Chabot (GNF Avalanche Center), Jim Earl (www.montanaice.com), Joe Josephson (First Ascent Press), Tom Kalakay and Bill Dockins (SMCC).

We have met with the Travel Plan team several times over the course of this very long process on behalf of the greater climbing community. Our interest is to represent the climbing community as the most prominent winter user group in Hyalite Canyon . To better help use deliver the climbing community's message to the Forest Service, please repy to this post with any suggestions or concerns.

I will post an update following next week's meeting.

Travel Plan Released

  • Ty
  • 01/15/06
  • Fri, 12/08/2006 - 23:26

I never didn't make it to the reservoir in my pickup. I made it past several times. So for me this is a downgrade. If you drive a smaller vehicle I guess it would be an upgrade...

Hold yer horses

  • Mon, 12/11/2006 - 10:08

Take a look at the first post of this thread- it has a link to the Travel Plan final decision. go there and click on maps and look-- really look-- at everything described there. The travel Plan is more than just Hyalite.

... but, in reference to Hyalite, this is what it says: the road would be plowed to Blackmore Parking lot ( the reservoir) , given sufficient funding. Starting Jan. 1 , it would be gated there, requiring a ski along the west side trail ( goes around the west side of Hyalite Reservoir) to get to the climbs.

Yes, there will be snowmobile access, but not from Blackmore Parking lot. the snowmobile parking lot will be down canyon at Moser Creek ( near Langhor) The snowmobile access will be along old loggin roads on the east side of Hyalite canyon road, circle by Palisades Falls parking lot, then follow more logging roads to the south of the Hyalite Road where it gets narrow by Window Rock Cabin, and go all the way to Grotto Falls Parking Lot ( the standard trailhead).

All that ( except the date, Jan. 1) is contained on the map at the link that that I referred to above. Go take a look.

Please post your thoughts/concerns/questions here, and we will take them to the Forest Service this week. Or email contact one of the above people. ( Greg C. , Chris N., Bill D., myself, etc).

Travel Plan Released

  • Mon, 12/11/2006 - 10:14

To those meeting with the Forest Service: Please get clarifications on which means of transportation are available when. From what I read in the routes table, the road beyond Blackmore trailhead will be closed from 1 Jan to 1 May to cars, but I'm not sure what the "A - closed" for high clearance vehicles means? Also, it appears that the section of road from Blackmore to just south of the Window Rock cabin are closed to snowmobiles year-round. So it appears that using sleds from Blackmore to get to Hyalite Creek trailhead is not an option (or is there an alternate route between the two)?

Travel Plan Released

  • Mon, 12/11/2006 - 11:02

Thanks to everyone meeting with the USFS and to Jim for keeping all of us up to speed in regard to this new travel plan. I am also interested on some more detailed clarification of the same topics as others have mentioned before me, but am also interested in what happens if the MONEY to plow isn't in the budget? Does it stay the way we are all used to with Mother Nature calling the shots or does the USFS just gate it come Jan. 1? Thanks again. Cheers, Rich Searle

Some important points

  • JoJo
  • 11/08/04
  • Mon, 12/11/2006 - 13:35

I think there are a few of points that are important to remember:

The Forest Service, by law (as I understand it), has to gate the road where they end the plowing. That is, plow to the dam, gate at the dam. The part that is somewhat flexible, it appears, is the date the gate is closed.

I use the "less than 5%" number when talking about how many ice climbers have snowmobiles. My gut says it is even less than 5% but it seems like a nice conservative number. I've been in Hyalite in February and March using snowmobiles and I've rarely seen more than two or three similar parties on a good weekend.

Most of the conversations also ignore the fact that if we actually had access throughout the winter, February and March would in fact be the best and most popular months to ice climb in Hyalite. But because the bulk of the climbing community simply has never been able to experience it, we tend to overlook this reality and focus on our November and December experience.

The suggested ice climber snowmobile route, due to the inconvenience and length, will deter some of the people that actally have snowmobiles from making the trek, further "removing a unique and popular activity" from the ice climbing community. I also believe that this will limit the ability of the local guide services to provide quality classes and events and will severly limit their ability to improve this growing segment.

Essentially, the plan as it stands now guarantees that the ice climbing window in Hyalite will be 6 to 8 weeks max for a vast majority of the people interested.

A lot of people cite last year that the road was shut down in early December. But remember, just because the road might be plowed to the dam does not mean vehicles will be able to get past there - with or without a gate.

And don't forget two years ago when we were driving to the trailheads in March. Also, the current plan shuts down access to the East Fork and Flanders.

Jim Earl is right, we all need to read and study the maps and plans in detail (although I've been unable to download the maps from the web site).

Thanks everyone for caring and stay posted!

Onward,
Joe Josephson

Travel Plan Released

  • Ty
  • 01/15/06
  • Mon, 12/11/2006 - 15:17

January 2007? 2008? Which one? From what I'm reading the plans don't take effect till Spring of 07. And with the lack of snow I'm willing to bet (if it stays this way) that I will be able to make it in in my pickup until January if conditions don't adversely change..

When the road shuts down

  • JoJo
  • 11/08/04
  • Mon, 12/11/2006 - 16:57

Ty,
Your post makes my point exactly.
Last year, plowing to the dam and not gating the road until Jan 1 would have been nice. This year, the season before last, and most years in fact, it will make the season shorter.
Don't expect anything to change this winter. The proposed changes will effect next season.

Travel Plan Released

  • Mon, 12/11/2006 - 18:01

Has anyone actually skied from the dam to the parking lot? Seriously it's not that far, I've done it several times. You just cut across the lake and it's a few flat easy miles. Why not embrace some adventure and save your vehicle from a huge thrashing? It will give you a good warmup and keep the hungover bumblies away. This will help with the huge overcrowding going on right now that is a much bigger problem than access in my opinion.

Skiing from the dam

  • JoJo
  • 11/08/04
  • Mon, 12/11/2006 - 20:42

I've skied from the dam many times and it is certainly an adventure, especially when there is two feet of slush underneath the snow on the reservoir. Skiing from the dam as an option assumes several things.

The first is that you have to have the proper gear. One of the best climbers I've ever known and who has done many first ascents in Hyalite has to climb in his ski boots when ever he skis from the dam. I can argue that most people climbing in Hyalite today do not have adequate backcountry touring gear that comfortably works with or doubles for climbing gear.

Futhermore, in my experience, skiing from the dam concentrates parties at the climbs closest to the trailhead - especially the Genesis and Unnamed Wall areas.

Secondly, skiing from the dam assumes you can drive to the dam. The final plan makes it clear they have alternatives in mind if and when they don't get funding to plow the road. With the "ice climber snowmobile access" starting at Langhor, the writing is clearly on the wall. Any shortness in the plowing budget and the road will be closed at Langhor. Ask Jack Tackle about skiing from Langhor on the first attempt of Cleopatra's Needle. I'm sure no one will attempt that today.

Thus, my whole point is that it seems that the final plan does not take into account the realities of ice climbing and the popularity and uniqueness of the activity in Hyalite. Those being primarily that most of us do not have snowmobilies (let alone with the size and power to adequately maintain an otherwise ungroomed snowmobile trail), many of us don't have the gear nor the ability and time to add a ski mountaineering element, and that ice climbing is by far the single largest user group in Hyalite in the winter.

Personally, I'm frustrated the we as a group either did not communicate with the Forest Service effectively or that they otherwise targeted the Hyalite road from the get go to be a venue for "family-oriented" ski outings in a non-motorized setting with the ice climbing and other user groups being secondary.

If you will recall, the first prefered version of the travel plan called for gating the road at Langhor. Outraged, ice climbers subsequently sent in over 900 letters and the second plan changed the tune to include the possibility of plowing to the dam or beyond.

I think it is fair to say that a majority of the community following this closely feel that finding money to plow will be a major challenge. We were however, optimistic that some reasonable compromise would be allowed in terms of the final date the road is closed or at the minimum allowing snowmobiles on the main roads.

But in the end, if they can't plow all the way to the dam, what is the next logical fall back spot? Langhor; which, according to the final plan, just so happens to be where the circuitous ice climber snowmobile access trail begins. I think you get my point.

And to comment on your mention of Hyalite being over-crowded, I have to disagree whole-heartedly. On occasion you might encounter other climbers on your climb but if you think Hyalite is crowded you have never climbed much in CO, the Canadian Rockies or New England. Hyalite is unequivocally uncrowded. In 20 years of climbing in every major, and not so major, ice climbing venue in North America I can confidently state that Hyalite has the best ice climbing "scene" I've encountered.

For example, so far this season, just counting the weekends and not counting the Ice Festival, I've climbed all day on Champagne Sherbert, Unnamed Wall (twice), Cleopatra's Needle area (twice), and the various climbs below Winter Dance and have either not seen another party at all or otherwise co-existed just fine with the one or two other parties nearby.

Travel Plan Released

  • Ty
  • 01/15/06
  • Tue, 12/12/2006 - 02:06

Don't forget the ski out from the ice. This is one of the more miserable ones in the photo :lol: :lol: .

What about proposing to the Forest Service that they put up a sign stating that once you go past this point you are doing so at your own risk instead of gating it off? Because in all honesty...you stand a hell of lot of a better chance or surviving a night in a vehicle than unprotected out there. I know the chance of getting a stuck past the reservoir is high...but you take your chances every time you go up there as it is now.

I could also see the budget getting smaller each year for the plowing as often happens. This would result in each year the gate being moved farther away from the ice. While the ski in takes long enough from the damn imagine how long it would take from Langhor....or heaven forbid further.

I would like to say that in my truck last year I never did not make it to the reservoir. I know I have a vehicle with rather high clearance and that is not the case with many other vehicles but for ME them plowing the road to the reservoir doesn't make any difference. I'm not trying to sound like the people who have snow machines and don't understand why everyone doesn't..but I'm just saying in my case them plowing that far makes no difference. However them closing the road past the resevoir does. When would it reopen in the spring? April? May? I made it to the main trailhead last year on the first of April. It would be a shame to see that opportunity unavailable to me.

When is the rebuttal period? Do we have one?

Travel Plan Released

  • Tue, 12/12/2006 - 13:15

Well overcrowding is a matter of opinion. I've spent plenty of time in line in yosemite, canada, and yes even colorado so I know what a crowd looks like and it doesn't look good anywhere. This being one of the last wild places I find it even more repugnant. Have you been to hyalite late season and thought to yourself, "this is nice, no lines, we can climb any route we want." It's been years since I've seen less than 30-40 cars in the parking lot early/mid season on a weekend. I wouldn't climb in hyalite if it wasn't for the quiet later season, too many other places to go. Where should the line be drawn? Ski lift from langor to G1? Skis are trivial, you can get a suitable pair for free. Slap on compatitble bindings and skins and you're set. You've chosen to be an ice climber so you're no s tranger to spending money! Resevoir slushy? Ski the road. What is a little solitude worth to you? If you want roadside there's Ouray.

Travel Plan Released

  • Tue, 12/12/2006 - 13:30

JoJo wrote:

The Forest Service, by law (as I understand it), has to gate the road where they end the plowing. That is, plow to the dam, gate at the dam. The part that is somewhat flexible, it appears, is the date the gate is closed.

I don't think so. They will begin plowing when the snow flies, but won't gate the road until Jan. 1. That's good news anyway. We'll find out how rigid they are with that date soon enough.

I want to mention the worst case scenario- that there is not enough money to plow the road to Blackmore, and that the road is gated at Langhor. Snowmobile access would still be possible via the Moser Creek route, but for non-smowmobile owning climbers, access would effectively be cut off.

Unfortunately, this seems likely.

To answer the implementation question: this would all happen next year, in terms of ice climbing.

Gary: Yep, Jan 1 to May 1 road closure is for all vehicles except oversnow vehicles. and, yes, the road is closed to snowmobiles- they would be allowed

Travel Plan Released

  • seth
  • 12/24/05
  • Tue, 12/12/2006 - 19:25

In my opinion, one of the things that makes Hyalite so great is the easy access. It alows you to spend the bulk of your day on the ice as opposed to on the approach. I am not a skier and don't want to spend money on the gear and time to become compentent with it. Nevertheless, I don't mind a 3 hour approach...but not everytime I want to climb. There are several drainages, not all in Winter Dance, around Bozeman/Livingston that contain lots of ice, most require long ski/snowshoe approaches. There are only two with easy access: Pine Creek and Hyalite.

The highest use of Forest Service land is not climbing or skiing but instead recreational driving. The number of people that drive to the dam will certainly increase if the road is plowed, and with it an increase in the number of "trouble-makers". That is, people that cause resourse damage, destroy bathrooms, use trailhead signs as targets, etc. Personally, I think the FS should leave things as they currently are (not plowing and not gating). But if they do choose to plow and then gate the road at the dam I think it is not only a big hit for ice climbers but also for the forest itself.

cheers,
seth

Policy

  • pony
  • 12/19/05
  • Tue, 12/12/2006 - 21:33

Unfortunately climbers have always been an easy mark for the public and forest service. In the publics eye climbers represent a fringe group of rebels (left-over from the sixties) who need to be saved from their own reckless, irresponsible, if not ?death-wish? lifestyle. In their own distorted way they feel they?re doing us a favor by limiting our access to this foolish endeavor.
As for the Forest Service or the Park System for that matter, climbers present a group of users that, unlike the general public, are not ?Cattle? that can easily be herded or ?Buffaloed? (do ya like my western analogies). Climbers are independent by nature and prone to pushing the limits.
What the Southwest Montana Climbers Coalition has endeavored to achieve is highly commendable and of which I fully support, it?s unfortunate then, that when you try to play by their rules they ever so politely dismiss your concerns and suggestions having already made policy.
As for the long and arduous approach, the argument that this makes for a more ?adventuress? experience conveniently ignores all the neatly maintained trails used by the adventuresome skiers and hikers to save them from having to bushwhack. In regards to overcrowding, this plan will not only lead to the overcrowding of a few climbs but also pose a greater environmental impact.

Travel Plan Released

  • Tue, 12/12/2006 - 22:18

powerandrubber wrote:
Well overcrowding is a matter of opinion. I've spent plenty of time in line in yosemite, canada, and yes even colorado so I know what a crowd looks like and it doesn't look good anywhere. This being one of the last wild places I find it even more repugnant. Have you been to hyalite late season and thought to yourself, "this is nice, no lines, we can climb any route we want." It's been years since I've seen less than 30-40 cars in the parking lot early/mid season on a weekend. I wouldn't climb in hyalite if it wasn't for the quiet later season, too many other places to go. Where should the line be drawn? Ski lift from langor to G1? Skis are trivial, you can get a suitable pair for free. Slap on compatitble bindings and skins and you're set. You've chosen to be an ice climber so you're no s tranger to spending money! Resevoir slushy? Ski the road. What is a little solitude worth to you? If you want roadside there's Ouray.

pnr, your argument only goes to illustrate the amount of public interest in maintaining the current ease of access. it's a democracy remember? the increase in traffic you cite, in my eyes at least, is a benefit to our interest as a usergroup by means of increased lobbying power.

like it or not, the times are a changing...many of us could sit around patting ourselves on the back for getting here before "the crowds" and wax with drunk eloquence about the good ol' daze, but the fact is that the number of climbers has increased everywhere and with this has come pressure on the resources. I don't see this changing any time soon.

my point is this: we as a usergroup represent the majority of user days spent in the upper hyalite drainages through the winter months, but our public land management policy makers aren't giving us a fair shake. we are going to need solidarity in order to support our interests.

argue all you want about preserving adventure, but don't forget - it's not about you. it's about our community and the concensus of our interest. remember, there's a shit-ton of adventure left to be had...you need to get away from it all? the option exist. ever venture to the head of the drainages for ice? consider the absarokas or the beartooths - plenty close by and plenty of slogging to be had.

consider the option for a short day of cragging. what are you going to do now, head over to pine creek with everyone else who's shut out of hyalite or doesn't have the time on their hands to sled or ski in and out? how about dawn patrol? where are you going to go?

seems like bait and switch

  • Tue, 12/12/2006 - 22:25

Well it seems based on Jim's info that the old bait and switch has been used on us. After what was an appearently unheard of showing of interest by our community the FS instead of creating a sensitive solution has tried to placate us by throwing the bone of plowing to the dam. But in every other respect this seems like a losing proposition. I suppose I should mention I have skied from the Dam numerous times (and once from Langor, thoughthat was when I was in much better shape) and while an adventurous outing it may be, I agree with those that find it a hardship. And for those who wear the "keep the fluff off" badge remember you may not always be a hardman.
It seems the Forest service has the fairly obvious agenda of keeping people out of the upper Hyalite drainage in winter. it would be nice if they would cop to this instead of trying to pacify us with a half hearted and seemingly tenuous solution. I am doubly chagrined because this year I was able to get a snow machine (none too shiny) and now it seems even that will not provide relatively easy access, as biling up an out of the way trail with one sled (I don't plan on goin with the posse) is a recipe for an expensive rescue. Its to bad that OUR government in all its forms seems to be incapable of honest disclosure about its methods or motives.
I can only hope that these conditions are still somewhat negotiable and that the FS will make a real attempt to understand the complexities mentioned by everyone in the community. And while it is a very small area of the GNF it has the potential to bring many different use communities together to talk about what uses are appropriate and create unity through comprimise instead of bitterness over unilateral decisions.

That's my soapbox,
Tobias

Travel Plan Released

  • erin
  • 11/05/04
  • Wed, 12/13/2006 - 11:10

I would like to propose a truce - among ourselves. We should focus on what was presented to the F.S. during the comment period. We all have our own views on the future of ice climbing in Hyalite Canyon. Presenting them on this forum may do little more than show the F.S. that we are not a united group. I myself am guilty of adding my two cents. We need to concentrate on what the majority of ice climbers said during the comment period; and whether the F.S. responded favorably to that voice. Though the F.S. will not make a decision based on a majority vote (say if the majority wanted a gondola to the base of Cleo's), it should consider reasonable comments as it relates to the plan as a whole. Talking with Steve Christiansen - the F.S. Coordinator - he has stated that all comments are available as a public record. However, it's a massive document. This document: http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/gallatin/?page=/projects/travel_planning only lists comments from the third phase after the draft. Of the thousands of comments, there are only a handful of ice climbers (not a good showing - and I admit my name is not listed there either). However, those who commented had an overall theme of No Gate. Though I did not look at the comments on the other two phases, I believe they relate the same message. So, we have a majority of us not wanting a gate. Our next question should be: Is this a reasonable request? Currently the road is plowed to the Fishing Access and the road is not gated. If they plow to Langhor or the reservoir, I do not think it would be an unreasonable request to not gate it at those junctions base on past practice.

Our next question should be whether the proposed snowmobile route is a viable option. This, to my knowledge, is something that we did have a chance to comment on in the past. I think Jim had a great idea of finding out exactly how many of use snowmobiles. Please respond to his thread so we can get a better idea of how many people this new route will effect, and we will go from there.

Cheers, Et

Travel Plan Released

  • Wed, 12/13/2006 - 12:09

Thanks for everybody's input- there are lots of good points in this thread.

I will try to find the answers to some of these hanging questions, and get back to everybody via email.

Travel Plan Released

  • Wed, 12/13/2006 - 17:38

I would like to see the road plowed all the way to Grotto Falls TH to allow access for a longer Hylite ice climbing season, but I feel that the forest service is concerned with conservation and budget influences. It also appears that the forest supervisor is pushing the recreation direction of Hylite for "family oreinted X/C skiers". How big is this user group compared to ice climbers?

To effectivley change the current road plan, I feel that SMCC should team up with other local interest groups that may share similar or like interests on this subject with us. (ie: local snowmobile groups/ shops, Bridger Nordic Ski Foundatin, etc.). It may also be wise to meet with conservation groups such as The Sierra Club, and wildlife conservation agencies to come to some agreement on this issue if there is any dissagreement.

A proposal that I haven't heard of yet would be to:

Open the road past the dam to Grotto Falls TH as a "high-clearance vehicle", or plow this section of road, and have it as a one-lane road during the winter months. Establish a time restriction for one-way direction of traffic. (ie: 5am - 12pm; allow travel up the road, 1pm- 4am; allow traffic down the road; by placing a sign at the dam, and at the parking lot)

This would allow better access for ice climbers and snowmobilers, resolve "risk & liability" concerns of the forest service since it is a "high-clearance" road, and solve some of the conservation issues by reducing the bonfire/boozehound traffic from going past the dam. There aren't that many motivated partygoers that will wake up at 10am to go party all day and night up at hylite. This plan would also help manage traffic on the road from people from going into the ditch when oncomming traffic meets.

If funding for plowing to the dam is an issue the "time restricted one-way travel" idea should be established lower on the road to reduce the time and costs of plowing and maintaining the road.

Also, sould we crete a poll on our fourm to find out what opinions and how they weigh as to which road plan is liked the best? I have the feeling that an appeal to the forest service will happen shortly. If it does, it may be benificial for SMCC and local climbers; or whoever makes the appeal to consolidate our voice as a climbing community that is consistent with the forest service.

What are your opinions? Is there an appeals process in action for the road situation, if so by who and how can we help?

Hyalite Travel Plan

  • Anonymous
  • Thu, 12/14/2006 - 20:55

Ice Climbers,

A group of climbers consisting of SMCC representatives, business owners, and longtime Bozeman climbers met with Forest Service officials today to discuss the recently published Forest Travel Plan and its impact on ice climbing in Hyalite Canyon. We were able to glean some information from the Forest Service. Some of that information is listed below in the format of pages 102-104 from the detailed description document. My comments are in italics.

Please bear in mind that the comment period is over. This Travel Plan, which goes into effect 2007/2008 is pretty much a done deal. That does not lessen the fact, however, that we were blindsided by the Forest Planners and their extreme deviation from the previous preferred plan (Preferred Plan, Alternative #7 called for plowing to Chisholm CG and ungated access from there). Our only recourse now is to appeal for slight modifications. The appeals process, should climbers choose to go that route, will be long, costly and without guarantees. The Travel Planners have made it clear that "family-oriented cross-country skiing" takes precedence over ice climbing and other winter activities. The Travel Planners also state that they want to see the most users possible on Forest lands. Our best bet (in my opinion) might be to work with skiers, snowmobilers, other user groups and the F.S. to find a realistic compromise to reestablish our vehicular access beyond the dam. The climbing community by nature has never been short on energy and professional expertise. If anyone has particular insight or skills that they can bring to the table during the appeals process, please let me know. In the meantime, let's use this forum as a place not only to express our frustrations, but also to present real solutions that might be used during the appeal. You never know who might read this stuff.

I have condensed the Hyalite documents and Map and listed them here for download purposes. I ask that you take a moment to read them over. I look forward to your comments.

The snowmobiler group has invited climbers to join them in their meeting with Forest Supervisors on Monday, Dec. 18, 6:30 at the Gran Tree Inn in Bozeman. This meeting might provide insight into what we are up against. It might also be a little entertaining.

Now all of you get out there and climb, Climb, CLIMB!

Cheers,

Tom Kalakay
SMCC Executive Director

http://cobalt.rocky.edu/~kalakayt/SMCC/Hyalite_map.pdf http://cobalt.rocky.edu/~kalakayt/SMCC/Hyalite_document.pdf http://cobalt.rocky.edu/~kalakayt/SMCC/Hyalite_table.pdf

HYALITE WINTER TRAVEL PLAN
(from pgs. 102-104 detailed travel plan)

A. Travel Area Goals, Objectives, Standards and Guidelines

GOAL 1: (covers summer use)

GOAL 2: Winter Recreation Use. Provide for a variety of winter recreation opportunities with an emphasis on family-oriented cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

The F.S. does not plan to groom or maintain any of the proposed ski trails. Travel planners "speculated" that a skier user-group would step forward and offer to do so.

OBJ. 2-1: Achieve the winter recreation opportunities identified in GOAL 2 through the marked and groomed route management decisions made through this Travel Plan. Any future proposals to change the uses specified should be done in consideration of the targeted recreation setting to be provided [see the ?Recreation Opportunity Spectrum? (ROS) map for winter uses (October, 2006)] which is hereby incorporated by reference.

OBJ. 2-2: Improve winter passenger vehicle access through the Hyalite Canyon to access winter recreation opportunities including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing and fishing.

The intent is to plow the road to the reservoir, yet funding is currently not available. Inadequate funding would likely result in road closures at Langhor or lower in the canyon. The Hyalite road will be gated at Hyalite reservoir or wherever plowing stops after Dec. 31. Ice climbers are expected to ski to climbs from there or use a convoluted snowmobile access trail beginning at Moser Creek. Snowmobile access cannot begin at the reservoir nor can it use any of the existing road system

OBJ. 2-3: Provide loop trails for family-oriented day-use skiing.

The currently listed ski trails make little use of the existing ski trail network. In fact, the remaining snowmobile access route blatantly overuns trails cut and maintained over the last 25 years by BSF-nordic. I know because I helped build and maintain these trails. The Hyalite road segment from Blackmore trailhead to Grotto Falls and Palisade Falls trailheads, our main artery to climbing, has never been part of the ski trail system. The F.S. speculates that this will become part of the system and therefore should be closed to vehicular travel after Dec. 31 each year.

OBJ. 2-4: Provide ski trail connectors to the Bozeman Creek and Cottonwood Creek drainages for more advanced skiers.

Travel Plan Released

  • Thu, 12/14/2006 - 23:06

Quote:

January 2007? 2008? Which one? From what I'm reading the plans don't take effect till Spring of 07. And with the lack of snow I'm willing to bet (if it stays this way) that I will be able to make it in in my pickup until January if conditions don't adversely change..

With these conditions you better make it up in your pickup truck, don't make me come and pull your ass out with my escort. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

[img]http://montanaice.com/forums/user_images/images[5].jpg[/img]

Travel Plan Released

  • Ty
  • 01/15/06
  • Fri, 12/15/2006 - 00:25

I've (sadly) already had to pull 2 people out of the ditch on the way up there..people over estimate what their vehicles can do big time... :roll: :roll: